Isn’t our love story with God like a relationship where you keep fighting but one end still waits, still holds on, still keeps their promises but you on the other end keep failing?
Have I made choices that have drawn me further away from my God? Sure thing. But the brokenness, shame and guilt that my sinful choices have brought me to, have led me to the feet of Jesus more than ever before. it wasn’t easy at first to believe that i can just face him and bring him all my emotions, my hurt and pain but it was and still is well worth a thing to do. What he does with our brokenness is far greater than we can imagine. In my personal life , i have felt like my brokenness has been God’s best tool for him to help me experience the depths of his love. Crazy as it sounds, i rejoice in the hurt and pain i have experienced because they have led me to him and to greater depths with him.
I walked my early Christian life thinking the level at which I was with God was by my hard work and efforts in building that relationship and I was a good girl, Did or at least tried to do the right thing.
Don’t get me wrong, YES, the places we choose to go, the ministry we decide to join, the company we choose to surround ourselves with all contribute to our growth but the foundation of it all is God’s Grace. I never truly understood and believed this until I started to fall away from those good choices, good behaviors and good places.
It has never been about my works, it has always been God’s GRACE. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Getting the undeserved love, favor, blessings, second, third and tenth chances. Grace oversees guilt and shame.‘
I fell so badly off my own ladder and was so broken. I had literally failed at my self-established principles and standards.
One of my many personal examples is when I got back into a relationship i had promised myself not to go back into. God had clearly shown me that it was not in his plan for me. But i chose to obey my flesh rather than obey my God. And so i felt i had failed myself and had failed God. That in itself brought me many more toxic emotions, I was frustrated and mad at myself, like what was wrong with me? I wished i had listened the first time.
In seasons like that, when I felt like a disappointment, i felt the embrace of God’s love and grace in a completely astounding and different way. Many times I had judged people that had fallen into sin, people that I had seen making terrible choices and wondered ‘how and why in the world would one do that?’ Because i had self-righteousness. Then with that forbidden relationship, I was dealt my own judgmental card, I did exactly what I had criticized people about. It was a hard blow to my self-esteem and self-value. I lost it; I got depressed over that fact and that relationship actually distracted me that i didn’t even realize it till i was deep in so much mess. I had lost my sense of purpose in life, I didn’t understand who I was anymore, for everything I had once stood for, I had so terribly broken.
‘Was there hope for me? Did God still love me? Wasn’t God tired of my unending sorrys?’ These were the thoughts and questions running through my head almost all of my time. Then indeed it felt like a mighty rushing wind, so unexpected swept over me with this intensely divine and graceful love that nothing in this world can ever compare to. I felt forgiven, I felt safe, I felt accepted and not judged. I felt as though God was telling me “I knew you before I formed you and I knew you would fall this many times but I still chose you and i still chose to love you. I was ready to pay the price to redeem you, this is what the cross means.”
Now if you have never understood what the cross is about, this is a small snapshot into my life that tells that story so well, at least for me it does. So dirty, filthy, unworthy and undeserving I was but he said ‘I love you enough to die for you, to wash you clean, give you a fresh start and even give you my spirit to be your helper and teacher.”
That relationship is one of the many examples i could give, and for you it might also be a habit, an addiction, false thoughts, a friendship that you are struggling to let go but i promise you there is hope. God’s love is not dependent on your good behavior, well principled lifestyle, you name it. His love is founded on his grace and mercy. He will give you grace to pull through that. Don’t let that failure keep you in shame and guilt that you run away from God, run to him instead, he will see you through it.
I still have struggles here and there, but i have learnt to rely NOT on my strength but his love and Grace. Sarah Jakes in her book ‘Lost & Found’ says, “It’s hard to accept pure love when you feel you don’t deserve it.” This was the thing that i struggled with mostly, that i was disobeying God and yet he continued to love, bless, provide for me and answer my prayers. Why would he love someone like me that keeps on failing him? Then i got the picture, his love is pure and unconditional unlike the love that man gives.
Selah! It will never be that we deserve it, it will always be that he graciously loves us.